Anytime there is something with moving parts safety becomes priority number one. This is especially true about one of the most used things in your home – your garage door. Since 1993 all garage door openers must have safety sensors. Prior to 1993 21,600 people every year, especially children, were killed by a garage door dropping on them. Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
While safety beam sensors are saving lives, they can also cause your door to stop working. Let’s take a look at what happens when your doors safety beam gets misaligned or stops working.
How Can I Tell if the Safety Beam Isn’t Working?
The garage door safety beam is a pair of light sensors. A sending sensor sends an electronic light beam to the receiving sensor. It ‘sees’ things in its path. When the light signal breaks the system stops working or reverses the garage door.
- Your door won’t completely close. The door will start to lower, then stop and go back to the place it started at.
You might have tried holding down the button on your opener until the door closes. Holding down the button overrides the safety sensor and forces the door to close.
- Your opener light may flash 10 times indicating there is a problem.
What Causes Problems with the Sensors?
Many things can cause sensors to stop working. Sensors are located close to the ground causing problems such as:
- Dust, dirt or spider webs cover the sensor eyes.
- Leaves, debris obstruct the signal
- Rakes, hoses, boxes fall and misaligned the sensor
- Someone hit or kicked the sensor
- Animals (Dogs, mice, etc) chewed through the wiring
- Electrical wires have broken
What Do I Do When This Happens?
The safety beam sensors are small black or gray boxes located on the side rails 6” to 9” from the garage floor. The sending sensor has a green light. The receiving sensors green light will be solid when the eye is working. If the signal is broken the light will blink or turn orange or red.
How Do I Troubleshoot the Problem?
Many causes are easy to check and resolve. Here’s a checklist to start:
- Remove anything obvious in the path of the garage door.
- Clean the sensor eyes with a clean dry cloth.
- Sweep away any leaves, rocks or debris around the base of the sensor eyes.
If one of the sensors is out of alignment:
- Unscrew the wingnut on the sensor with an orange or blinking light. Unscrew the wing nut enough to gently move it until the light turns solid green. Tighten the wing nut and the system should be restored.
- If there’s no wingnut, make sure the sensor is sitting on the arm where it is intended to be. If that doesn’t restore the system gently bend the arm until you get the signal back.
For a wiring problem:
We recommend contacting a professional to repair broken wiring.
If you are unable to restore the sensor system give your Neighborhood Garage Door Repair team a call. A technician can get your door running again. We are here to help.